3D printer resins allow for investment casting
Formlabs, the makers of the Form 1+ SLA 3D Printer, has announced a new line of high-performance functional resins.
The resins, Castable and Flexible, add capabilities to the Form 1+ 3D Printer, allowing for the investment casting of metal parts, as well as the printing of soft, impact-resistant models.
Castable Resin is designed to hold fine detail and burn-out cleanly, a requirement for investment casting, a common process used to produce jewelry, metalwork, and engineering applications fixtures. Flexible Resin is a rubber-like material that’s pliable when thin and resilient when thick. It’s ideal for applications requiring a soft feel or impact resistance. The new materials are a dramatic expansion of Formlabs’ growing materials library, and create a new range of possibilities for the Form 1+ 3D Printer.
“A lot of attention in 3D printing goes to the machines itself,” said Formlabs co-founder, Maxim Lobovsky. “At Formlabs, we’ve always considered the materials to be just as important. A library of functional materials has always been part of our plan, we’re pleased to introduce these resins to the world.”
With a growing team of material scientists, Formlabs is devoted to creating a comprehensive, high-performance suite of resins for its 3D printers. “Diverse materials are such a key piece in enabling innovation,” said Formlabs’ material scientist Katherine Hammes. “We’ve formulated our new resins to work seamlessly with our machine, and we’re thrilled with the results we’ve achieved with Castable and Flexible.”
Castable Resin burns out cleanly, without ash or residue, capturing crisp, precise details and extraordinarily smooth surfaces. The resin is perfect for jewelers, engineers, and designers to go straight from a 3D design to a model suited for direct investment casting.
Flexible is a rubber-like material, ideal for hinges, engineering applicationsshock absorption, tactile surfaces, and other applications requiring resilient, pliable parts.
Castable Resin is available in 500ml bottles from the Formlabs web store immediately. Flexible Resin will be available December 2014. Both resins are compatible with both the Form 1 and Form 1+ 3D Printers.
Along with its new functional resins, Formlabs has also updated its formulations of Grey and Clear, giving them better performance and stability over time. The updated formulation will begin to ship this November.
Formlabs designs and manufactures powerful and accessible 3D printing systems for engineers, designers, and artists. Their flagship product, the Form 1+ 3D Printer, uses stereolithography (SLA) to create high-resolution physical objects from digital designs. The company was founded in 2012 by a team of engineers and designers from the MIT Media Lab and Center for Bits and Atoms.